The outspoken boss of the Queen Vic was an Albert Square favourite from the moment she arrived in 1991 until the character’s death in 2016.
Peggy was originally played by Jo Warne until Dame Barbara took over in 1994.
With her no-nonsense approach and much-parodied catchphrase: “Get outta my pub!” Dame Barbara was at the heart of some of the BBC soap’s most legendary moments.
Here, we take a look at a handful of her most memorable scenes.
Breast cancer battle
The pint-sized publican battled breast cancer in 1996 and then again in 1999, when she decided to have a mastectomy.
Hundreds of viewers wrote to the BBC praising Dame Barbara and EastEnders for the way the difficult subject was tackled.
Peggy’s sharp tongue was not the only weapon in her arsenal, as several characters found out over the years.
In 2000, Peggy discovered husband Frank Butcher (Mike Reid) was having an affair with his ex-wife Pat (Pam St Clement) and was planning to run away with her.
Peggy humiliated the couple in front of everyone in the Queen Vic by reading out a letter detailing their plan to flee.
“One thing I’ve learned since I’ve been married to Mr Butcher is never underestimate his capacity to make a cock-up of things,” she cried before slapping them both.
Pat butcher was dizzy for days after that slap https://t.co/lwhG2BLwms
— Shiraz Saz (@sarahhill_) August 1, 2020
The baseball bat
Peggy had high hopes for a fun family Christmas after finding out about Frank and Pat but her plans went awry.
Alone in the pub, she took out her frustration on the fixtures and fittings, smashing it all up with a baseball bat.
Peggy vs Chrissie
One of Peggy’s finest moments took place after her daughter Sam was framed for the murder of Den Watts (Leslie Grantham) by his wife Chrissie (Tracy-Ann Oberman).
When Peggy discovered the truth, she stormed to the graveside and screamed: “Chrissie Watts! Murderer!”
She then lunged at Chrissie and pushed her into her husband’s grave.
“Tell Den you’re sorry! Tell Den!” Peggy screeched.
Boris Johnson visits Walford
In 2009, Peggy went to speak to the Mayor of London about litter and when he did not turn up vowed she would “give him a piece of my mind” if she ever saw him.
But soon afterwards Johnson wandered into the Vic and Peggy quickly changed her tune.
Appearing a little star-struck, she gushed: “I do so admire a man who devotes his life to serving society. I nearly went into politics myself, you know.”
Boris Johnson’s 2009 EastEnders appearance seems even more surreal now than it was then pic.twitter.com/8F7POD2adR
— Julian Druker (@Julian5News) June 15, 2019
In 2010, a crack-crazed Phil (Steve McFadden) torched the Queen Vic.
Peggy escaped but was devastated.
The blaze led her to take stock of her life and she decided to leave Albert Square.
“Go on, I’ll be fine. Go on, darling, go back inside,” she urged Phil, as she walked away.
Wow, it’s been 9 years today since Peggy Mitchell left EastEnders following the phenomenal Queen Vic fire. I still get a little teary eyed over this! pic.twitter.com/qJ9aMl5b2D
— Rich (@MrRichieW) September 10, 2019
In 2016, Peggy took an overdose after breaking the news to son Grant (Ross Kemp) that her cancer had returned and taken a “proper grip” on her.
In a poignant final scene, after smelling cigarette smoke throughout the episode, Peggy hallucinated the return of her former love rival-turned-friend Pat Butcher (Pam St Clement), puffing away in thick pink lipstick and with “earrings rattling like Marley’s bleeding chains”.
Speaking to her friend, who passed away in the soap in 2012, Peggy said: “I’m being eaten alive and it hurts and I can’t wait.”
She added: “I will go as I have lived: straight back, head high, like a queen.”
Watch: ‘The whole country is in mourning’ – stars pay tribute to Dame Barbara Windsor